Our society is ripe with distractions, movement, speed, and stimulus. From the fast pace of our technological evolution to the demands of our multiple roles in our personal and professional lives, we often get drawn into a momentum that makes our heads spin. Little wonder is it, therefore, that our children pick up on this flurry of activity and often find it hard to be still.

Concentration and focused thought are skills that are learned. Meditation, or the practice of “techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things” is something one has to do repeatedly to see true effects and benefits. Some of the latest research has found that meditation can have the same effects on the brain as antidepressants (and to the same degree), and that it even improves grey matter volume. While we might think that this ancient practice of finding peace for the mind is accessible only to adults, child meditation is gaining focus.

In her book Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents), Eline Snel teaches parents and their children to enter a world of calm through practice every day. This is one of a growing number of books designed to give children a first step towards inner mindfulness.

Meditation sees the following benefits in children:
  • increased ability to sleep at night
  • a greater bond with their parents
  • improved concentration at school
  • a better capacity to deal with emotions
Some beginner tips when trying mediation:
  • start small, taking a few minutes out of the day to meditate with your child
  • make meditation a routine, practicing at approximately the same time every day
  • explain to your child why it is important to be still and quiet sometimes
  • ask your child what he feels when he is sitting still, or ask her to breathe deeply until she feels nice inside

Books and videos (even on YouTube) are available resources to help you help your child achieve calm. Remember that play is part of a child’s instinct, but stillness is cultivated. Give your child the opportunity to explore the hidden potentials of the mind with an early foray into serenity.